This article is a case study on how the world is getting smaller – how news, technology and information move from one site of the globe to another at a ferocious pace, and how quickly information can become geo information – information for the entire world.
This case study is about the electronic cigarette – developed in China in the start of this millennia, it has quickly spread to the entire globe:
2003/4: The electronic cigarette was launched on the Chinese market by a company named Ruyan. It was quickly copied by many other Chinese companies.
2006: Ruyan received an international patent, and started exporting the electronic cigarette across the globe.
2012: Today you can buy electronic cigarettes all across the globe. There are many national retailers, many small webshops that sells non-brand electronic cigarettes, and then there are some multinational companies like Super-Smoke, Green Smoke, and Blue Cig, Totally Wicked etc. who sells in different languages and at different markets.
2014: The e-cigarette market is still split up by a lot small websites. Small e-cigarette webshops like ecigaretten.dk that sells mainly to a small market is still the norm. But at gis2009 we believe that 2014 (and maybe also ’15) will be the year that a lot of small shops will die and the rest will conglomerate into large ones. It’s a development that has already been seen in US and UK, and will spread to the rest of the world shortly.
So, it took only 2-3 years from the time the electronic cigarette was first launched and till it was internationally sold. And only 6 more years until today, where it’s looking like the electronic cigarette is going to replace the normal cigarettes as the primary source for nicotine.
That’s an excellent example of Geo Information in use- the information spreads rapidly and in less than 10 years a new product can become a normal thing to use for the entire globe.